Dog accidentally starts house fire, house saved by “smart” smoke alarm

Local News

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Working smoke alarms save lives and “smart alarms” can save your home even when you are not around, as proven by Roanoke County Fire and Rescue during a call Wednesday morning.

The Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department says units were dispatched to a house fire on Sullivan Lane in Read Mountain at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12. The person who called in the fire reportedly received notifications from their Google Nest smoke alarms that there was smoke in the house while the dog was home alone.

The department reports that the first crews on the scene heard a distinct alarm and noticed light smoke inside the house. According to fire officials, the investigation determined that the dog jumped up and turned on the gas stove, which partially torched a butcher block knife holder.

“A smart technology smoke alarm helped to save a home and a dog this morning!!” Roanoke County Fire and Rescue tweeted Wednesday morning. “Working smoke alarms save lives, and smart technology enhances that protection!”

A smart smoke detector connects the alert system to the internet and your smartphone. This innovative detector can range in price from $60 to $180, several consumer sites report.

Regardless of a standard smoke alarm or a smart one, having a system that is properly installed is key, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Here are some tips from the association to increase the likelihood that your system works in the event of a fire:

  • Replace smoke alarms every ten years;
  • Keep a smoke alarm at least ten feet from the stove to help avoid false alarms;
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the button to be sure the alarm is working;
  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area; and
  • If hard of hearing or deaf, look for specials alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers.

The Red Cross offers free smoke alarms and installations. To find out if your local Red Cross participates in this program, call (540) 987-6355 or reach out to your local fire department.

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